Cisco Appoints New General Manager for South Africa

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Cathy Smith to Support Cisco’s Ongoing Strong Customer Focus in the Local Market as South Africa Embraces the Next Wave of Technology Transformation


JONANNESBURG, South Africa – 2nd June, 2015 - Cisco announced today that Cathy Smith has been appointed as General Manager for Cisco’s business operations in South Africa.

As South African organisations embrace the next wave of technology transformation and become fully digitised, this presents a new opportunity for new revenue streams, better customer and citizen experiences, and new operating models to deliver value. To help our customers be ready for this transformation, Cathy brings a 25-year track record of advising leading private and public sector organisations on IT strategies that connect everything, embrace analytics, and secure their technology and operations.

The connection of people, process, data and things, known as the Internet of Everything (IoE), and the increased value that occurs as ‘everything’ joins the network could generate ZAR 152.58 Billion ($14.3 Billion) in value for South Africa’s public sector over the next decade enabling the South African government to create value by saving money, improving employee productivity, generating new revenue and enhancing citizen benefits.

As South Africa increasingly focuses on strategic investments in technology through government’s national economic growth plans, such as the new growth path (NGP) and the national development plan (NDP), Cathy will dedicate her time to supporting customers and partners as they play their part in helping South Africa build a robust national broadband infrastructure.

Cathy is a fellow of the African Leadership Initiative (ALI), an organisation set up to develop the next generation of ‘values’ based African leaders who are capable of guiding and leading their countries as they struggle to align the demands of globalisation with local visions of ‘a good society’. This aligns strongly with Cisco’s goals for Africa and Cathy will be bringing her experience and key learnings from the work she does with ALI to share best practice with other Cisco leaders in Africa.

Prior to joining Cisco, Cathy had been with IBM for more than 23 years, where she held various leadership roles in IT service delivery, HR and sales which have furnished her with the right skills to lead a diverse team as well as build strong customer relationships. She also spent three years in the United Kingdom, where she held a number executive European and global roles in the outsourcing services business consolidating her international expertise. Before joining IBM, Cathy worked for several other companies in the Insurance Industry as an application developer.

Cathy is married with two daughters and has a keen interest in community work.

Executive Quotes:

David Meads, Vice President, Cisco, Africa :

“As South Africa continues to chart the course for economic transformation, its future lies in the ability of private and public sector organisations to set a bold technological agenda and take the initiative on transformational projects that harness the power of Internet to bring about meaningful change. Cisco has a focused agenda to support South Africa embrace this change through technology and given Cathy’s IT industry credentials she is well placed to engage with government and organisations in the country to identify opportunities for development and growth.

Cathy Smith , General Manager, Cisco, South Africa

“I am looking forward to the exciting challenge of leading Cisco’s business in South Africa given the important and integral role it has in Cisco’s strategy for growth in Africa. It is an interesting time for South Africa as it embraces the new digital era and develops an agile IT model. At Cisco, our customers are at the core of all our business activities and our dedicated approach to delivering innovative technology solutions as well as thought leadership that will help them thrive in the digital era. This is where I plan to focus my energies in the coming years.”

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